Paris, nous vous aimons

Paris, nous vous aimons

Paris, nous vous aimons

On Wednesday, when my dear friend @KelseyJpatel invited a few friends and me to an intimate meditation and high tea at her home scheduled for today, I didn’t know that we would all be going with Paris on our minds and sitting heavy in our hearts.

High atop downtown LA, we prayed for those lost and those suffering in Paris, and we sent all the love we could muster their way.

Kelsey, my most intuitive friend, you knew we needed to be there before we even did.

Thank you.

Paris, nous vous aimons. 

Shame on the Moon: Wine Monday at Sofitel Wine Days

Wine Monday. What? It's a thing.

Wine Monday. What? It’s a thing.

As Rodney Crowell once wrote & Bob Seger once sang, “Shame on the moon.”

I have been feeling a little out of sorts all day today and, well, I blame the moon.

Luckily, @SofitelLosAngeles invited me out for a little private tasting party to kick off their #SofitelWineDays at @EsterelRestaurant.

There’s nothing I’d rather be doing on a moody Monday. ‘

So, yes, shame on the moon, but hooray for wine flights!

Shoot.

Now, I’m sad I’m not going to the @RodneyJcrowell & @emmylousongbird show at the El Rey.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

Mistaken Adventures Are The Best Kind Of Adventures…

Sometimes mistaken adventures are the best kind of adventures...

Sometimes mistaken adventures are the best kind of adventures…

I have many a golden Lindsey memory that shine in my mind: late night parties with giant stuffed teddy bears and an impromptu Bill Withers dance party at the Lyric Theatre on a weeknight rank high.

But, this was the first one where we set off on a mistaken adventure and ended up bathed in golden light at sunset in a pumpkin patch on a farm.

Bathed in the harvest glow.

Bathed in the harvest glow.

 

Yes, I got the date wrong (SO wrong) on the charity dinner for my beloved Max Love Project, so my dear friend, Lindsey Vaerst and I drove all the way to Tanaka Farms in Irvine, only to find out that it’s…wait for it…in OCTOBER!! Ahhh. Didn’t even get the day right! (It’s October 24th NOT September 26th and tickets can be bought HERE for $150/person.)

Some might be frustrated or feel that a 3-hour round trip down the 405 is wasted time. Not us. We laughed. Oh, how we laughed! And then we took a picture, bathed in that gorgeous dusk light, to mark the moment – as though we could ever forget!

#MercuryRetrogradeIsReal #HonestLovesMax

Dine & Dish with Dawn: Society Bakery in Dallas – It’s Not Just Their Desserts That Make Them Sweet!

Life might not be a cake walk, but don’t tell Society Bakery that.

The oven is always on at Society Bakery in Dallas, where they bake as much sweetness as they add to the world around them!

The oven is always on at Society Bakery in Dallas, where they bake as much sweetness as they add to the world around them!

A bakery whose motto is “Be good to your sweet tooth, be good to society,” Society makes it its mission to sweeten the world, while giving back.

And, I’m not the only one who’s noticed. Ellen Degeneres and AOL have named them one of the Top Ten Cupcakes in America, and People Country Magazine listed Society Bakery as one of “Four top bakeries in L.A., Dallas, Birmingham, and N.Y.C.”.

Society Bakery founder, Roshi Muns and I established a friendship last December when I was referred to Society when I needed a last minute cake for an impromptu holiday tea party with my girlfriends. I tasted the cake (delicious!), and met Roshi (the sweetest!), and it was friendship at first sight! We’ve followed each other on social media since then, so when Roshi saw I was headed home to Dallas, she told me she wanted to “roll out the red carpet” for me and my family and friends, and host a tasting brunch for us.

Knowing I would need some help from other discerning tastebuds to taste such delectable treats, I invited my mom, my fabulous Dallas blogger friend Lee Cordon of DoSayGive, my best friend Jenny Harris, her son Shepherd, Jenny’s sister Dr. Sally Falwell, and her daughter, Evie.

Lots of love at the table with my tasting crew by my side!

Lots of love at the table with my tasting crew by my side – and that’s Roshi right behind me!

And oh my, were we ever treated!

We started out with Pimento Cheese on toast with hardboiled egg, bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Society Bakery's homemade pimento cheese on toast, with hardboiled eggs, bacon, lettuce and tomato

Society Bakery’s homemade pimento cheese on toast, with hardboiled eggs, bacon, lettuce and tomato

Then, came out the chicken salad on croissant, tuna salad on wheat, grilled cheese and pasta salad with tomato and mozzarella.

Chicken salad on croissant, truna salad, grilled cheese and pasta salad  at Society Bakery - delicious!

Chicken salad on croissant, truna salad, grilled cheese and pasta salad at Society Bakery – delicious!

The next course was ricotta with fresh peaches and strawberries, served with a side of some of the most delicious homemade peach jam I’ve ever enjoyed.

Ricotta with fresh peaches and strawberries with a side of scrumptious homemade peach jam by Chef Erin

Ricotta with fresh peaches and strawberries with a side of scrumptious homemade peach jam by Chef Erin

After all that, came the…DESSERTS!!
And, I do mean desserts plural!

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Life really is a cake walk at Society Bakery (details of desserts in this pic below)

We were treated to the following dessert smorgasbord (as pictured above clockwise witht the brownie, standing in for 12 o’clock): Brownie, Frosted Sugar Cookie, Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Jessie Jessup Cupcake (vanilla cake with buttercream frosting & my FAVE!), Strawberry Cupcake, Coconut Cupcake, Salted Caramel Cupcake with Salted Caramel Filling, vanilla Cupcake, White Petits Fours with filling, Monster Chocolate Chip Cookie, Bread Pudding Whoopie Pie, Apple Pie, another Whoopie Pie, Monster M&M Cookie, and their signature Chocolate Cake in the center.

Here’s a closeup of some of that deliciousness.

FullSizeRender-8

Sugar Heaven at Society Bakery with cupcakes, cookies, petits four, pies, brownies and whoopie pies!

As delicious as the food and “sweet treats” (as Sally & Evie call them) are, Roshi’s mission is even sweeter. Society Bakery is active in giving back to the local community of Dallas, by giving thousands of cupcakes away in exchange for items that local charities need. Society Bakery also donates throughout the year to over 100 different charities, schools and non-profit organizations, refraining from taking tax write-offs for donations because Roshi and her team believe that a business can be profitable and charitable at the same time. Sounds like someone else I know!

My heart was so full getting to share both my love for what I do, and my love of food, with some of the people I love best in my own hometown of Dallas.

What it takes to capture those delicious food pics y'all love looking at! My friend Jenny was praying I didn't fall off that step ladder!

What it takes to capture those delicious food pics y’all love looking at! My friend Jenny was praying I didn’t fall off that step ladder!

 

My dear friend (of 21 years), Jenny Harris Crandall and I cakewalking at Society Bakery

My dear friend (of 21 years), Jenny Harris Crandall and I cakewalking at Society Bakery

 

With my friend - and fellow influencer & blogger - Lee Cordon, of the fabulous blog, DoSayGive

With my friend – and fellow influencer & blogger – Lee Cordon, of the fabulous blog, DoSayGive

 

So, when in Dallas, head on over to Society Bakery, where the oven’s always on – and the place, where when you buy sweetness, you also add sweetness to the world around you!

xoxo,
Dawn

McCoy’s MeCations: I Spent New Years Alone & I LOVED It…Thanks To The Oaks At Ojai

The McCoy’s MeCation Challenge: Hey, you! Yeah, YOU. This summer, I have an assigment for you. Go somewhere  – anywhere alone – for at least 24 hours. Trust me. It’ll change your life in some miraculous little way. That’s what McCoy’s MeCations are all about.

On my way to Ojai to The Oaks at Ojai, and on the lookout for the bright light shining that is 2015.

On my way to Ojai to The Oaks at Ojai, and on the lookout for the bright light shining that is 2015.

With summer upon us, I felt that sharing my miraculous McCoy’s MeCation over this past New Years might be just the source inspiration for some of you out there. Memorial Day kicks off summer, filled with steamy weather and socializing galore, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got to carve out time for some much-needed R&R and self-care.

That’s what took me to The Oaks at Ojai, back on December 31st this past winter.

Right when I arrived and felt like I was just in heaven. First up? I had Yoga at 4 pm. Moving healthfully and gracefully into 2015.

Right when I arrived and felt like I was just in heaven. First up? I had Yoga at 4 pm. Moving healthfully and gracefully into 2015.

My career is about as social as you can get, so when I think vacations and celebrations, I don’t think parties and clubs, I think of comfy accommodations, meaningful conversations, delicious food and drink…and there’s gotta be a pool.

Snuggling into my home of Ojai for 3 days over New Years

Snuggling into my home of Ojai for 3 days over New Years. You KNOW there’s a pool!

I asked my friends if anyone felt like traveling, and unfortunately, no one could swing it. So, I decided to find a health spa, where I could truly detox and relax, and gear up for a productive – and healthy – 2015.

Luxuriating in my spa tub at The Oaks at Ojai

Luxuriating in my spa tub at The Oaks at Ojai. Feeling utterly bubbly as I reflected and washed away what didn’t serve me and toasted to the beautiful mysteries that 2015 holds. Feeling so grateful for so many dreams coming true in 2014. So do I want more to come true this year? As AmyPoehler says…YES PLEASE!

I realize that spending New Year’s Eve alone as a 30-something female might sound a little sad to some. But I assure you it wasn’t. I dare say it was my favorite New Year’s Eve to date. And I give 100% credit for that to The Oaks At Ojai. Like many of you, I had overindulged during the holidays, and found myself plotting to be my healthiest best in 2015. Then reiki master Kelsey Patel gave me some sage advice and one piece of direction for my New Years holiday, “Be sure you celebrate midnight on New Year’s Eve doing what you’d like to be doing the rest of 2015.”

A super early morning hike was the perfect, healthy start to my 2015

A super early morning hike was the perfect, healthy start to my 2015

The first thought for me? I want to be my healthiest best. There are plenty of parties and glasses of champagne to be toasted, but I can do that anytime, so for New Years, I would detox. I researched my options and the one spa that kept coming up with a host of accolades and a bevy of rave reviews was The Oaks at Ojai.

Getting the Sweet Slumber massage at The Oaks at Ojai. Perfect way to wind down a busy 2014.

The perfect way to wrap up 2014? Getting a Sweet Slumber 75-Minute Massage at The Oaks Spa . Heaven.

 When I announced on my social media outlets where I would be going, my female friends of all ages came out of the woodwork, all saying how much they love it there and describing it as a grownup girls’ sleepaway camp or a Disney World for women. One of my friends even based the setting for a novel she wrote there. So, the bar? Yeah, that bar was set high.

 

One of the best parts about taking a vacay alone are the new friends you make. The Oaks seriously is like a healthier version of summer camp.

Sunrise hike with new friends at The Oaks at Ojai. One of the best parts about taking a vacay alone are the new friends you make. The Oaks seriously is like a healthier version of summer camp.. It was one of their Mother-Daughter weekends so I made 3 friends for the price of 1! Plus a slew of others! Here we are on the 90-minute Shelf Road hike through the hills of Ojai.

Well, The Oaks did not disappoint. With the pressures of Hollywood only an hour and a half away, you’d expect The Oaks at Ojai to be all about “fashionable fitness,” but you’d be wrong. This is a place where it’s more about feeling fit than sporting your LuluLemon, counting your fat cells or validating yourself on a scale. Here, there’s no pressure for anyone to be anything but your truest self. How many places can claim that?

Plenty of times for non-judgmental relaxing and reflecting at The Oaks at Ojai

Plenty of times for non-judgmental relaxing and reflecting at The Oaks at Ojai

As for the rates? They vary, but they are very reasonable. You can go solo and all in, and stay in the more luxe accommodation, the Double Courtyard Suite, like I did (for around $710/ night).

My super comfy, luke and relaxing Double Courtyard Cottage. Just the most heavenly place to kick off a new year…or a summer.

My super comfy, luke and relaxing, spanish-style Double Courtyard Cottage – my home for 3 days. Just the most heavenly place to kick off a new year…or a summer. Lanai? Check. Personal fountain? Check. Fireplace? Check. Huuuuge in-room sunken spa, surrounded by handcrafted Spanish Art Deco tile? Check. Heaven? Check.

Or, you can come with friends, and/or be paired with a “roommate” in a standard twin room (for as little as $250/night). All of these rates are all-inclusive, including 3 meals and snacks, as well as all the fitness classes (15 to choose from – I ended up partaking in 11!!) you could want, so it’s actually a great deal, any way you look at it! They also have spa day passes (for $130 – $185) that are super reasonable.

My FAVE class! Relaxing yoga in my pjs, right before bed.

My FAVE class! Deeply restful yoga Nidra before bedtime at The Oaks. Relaxing yoga in my pjs, right before bed.

As for the food? So healthy and SO delicious.

New Years brunch, The Oaks style.

New Years brunch, The Oaks style. No mimosas, but my conscience sure feels healthy…and no hangover in sight.

A healthy salad at lunch

A healthy salad at lunch

And…

Delicious turkey chili!

Delicious turkey chili!

As for dinner?
Healthy. Light. Delicious.

Healthy. Light. Delicious. Salmon. Shrimp. Veggies. YUM!

And my “weird” high-maintenance request, that The Oaks was kind enough to accommodate, at lunch on New Years:

 Nothin' keeps me from my annual southern New Year's tradition of blackeyed peas for prosperity. Nothin'. It's my annual good luck charm. Luckily, the@oaksspa were able to accommodate my weird request today for lunch. Yes. I was THAT girl. But, such sweet customer service here!  


Nothin’ keeps me from my annual southern New Year’s tradition of blackeyed peas for prosperity. Nothin’. It’s my annual good luck charm. Luckily, The Oaks was able to accommodate my weird request for New Years lunch. Yes. I was THAT girl. But, such sweet customer service here!

I left 12 lbs lighter and I don’t just mean physically. My skin was soft and smooth, and my mind was relaxed and ready for the year ahead.

Refreshing smoothie time! And just look at that glowing skin!

Refreshing smoothie time! And just look at that glowing skin!

Overall McCoy’s MeCations Travel Takeaway? There are many highlights of The Oaks at Ojai: the spa services, the health benefits, the new friends, the comfy accommodations that make you feel like you’re in Santa Fe, and so much more. But the real reason it’s so special? The Cluff family and THE STAFF.

I’m not being a soft-soaper when I say that every single member of the staff at The Oaks makes you feel utterly pampered and cared for. They want to know who you are, what your goals are, and what they can do for you.They are kind. They are real. They are attentive. They are downright loving. Much of the staff is part of the Cluff family (mom, Sheila Cluff, is the founder & a fitness and health icon, herself), or teachers or therapists who have been there for more than a decade, out of sheer happiness and loyalty. Just the fact that they have such loyal, attentive staffers speaks volumes of the home-away-from-home that the Cluff family and The Oaks have created for both its guests and staff.

So, if you need a healthy escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – especially from this City of Angels that doesn’t always feel so angelic – well, have I got the place for you. Be sure to tell ’em I sent you. I’m their biggest cheerleader.

xoxo,
Dawn

The ‘tails:

The Oaks at Ojai

122 E. Ojai Avenue

Ojai, CA 93023  

805.646.5573

Editor’s Note: As per all my McCoy’s MeCations, this post was sponsored by the participating host hotel – in this case, The Oaks at Ojai (805.646.5573), 122 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023. All accommodations, services, fare and beverages were provided by the host hotel, and their associates.

 

Red Carpet Ready: French Kiss Premiere at the Marriott Marina Del Rey

Last night, I walked the red carpet and toasted on the rooftop of the Marriott Marina Del Rey, to celebrate the premiere of French Kiss.

On the rooftop of the Marriott Marina Del Rey, for the premiere of French Kiss

On the rooftop of the Marriott Marina Del Rey, for the premiere of French Kiss. Dress is Erin Fetherston & shoes are Latigo – both available at Anthropologie now

The short film is a first venture into the world of entertainment for Marriott. Shot in Paris, French Kiss follows a seemingly magical young romance between an American man (Tyler Ritter, The McCarthys and son of the late John Ritter) and a Parisian woman (French model and actress Margot Luciarte) exploring the city outside of the four walls of the hotel.

MARINA DEL REY, CA - MAY 19:  Actors Tyler Ritter (L) and Margot Luciarte attend The Marriott Content Studio?s "French Kiss" film premiere at the Marina del Rey Marriott on May 19, 2015 in Marina del Rey, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Marriott Hotels)

MARINA DEL REY, CA – MAY 19: Actors Tyler Ritter (L) and Margot Luciarte attend The Marriott Content Studio?s “French Kiss” film premiere at the Marina del Rey Marriott on May 19, 2015 in Marina del Rey, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Marriott Hotels)

It seems that people often have a hard time grasping the idea of how influencers, like me, and advertising work. French Kiss is a good example of how subtle brand integration can work wonderfully, when orchestrated beautifully with a clear vision. Director John Gray created a work of art, with subtle pops and rare references to the Marriott Champs Élysées, without using a heavy hand.

French Kiss, directed by John Gray

French Kiss, directed by John Gray

Regardless of whether you approve of brand integration marrying with entertainment, it’s here , it’s always been here and it’s not going anywhere. We just don’t always recognize it when it’s skillfully done. And when it’s done well like this, it inspires, instigates, and gives us a life to aspire towards. The magical spell worked on me, alright. After putting off renewing my passport for the past year, I’m gonna get that done today. The first plane ticket I’m gonna book? Well, that would be Paris, of course.

So, grab the popcorn, watch the pretty picture, and be prepared to plan that trip for Paris you’re going to want afterwards.

With my fellow influencers at the premiere of French Kiss

With my fellow influencers at the premiere of French Kiss

McCoy’s MeCations: The Orlando Hotel & West 3rd Street in Los Angeles

It was time. Time for what? A MeCation, naturally. My spring has been the busiest yet, and I was in need of a little R&R.

My week is usually filled to the brim with activities and events, all in the name of work. But this McCoy’s MeCation with The Orlando Hotel on West 3rd Street in Los Angeles, was a little different. This was the FIRST time that a number of my girlfriends actually wrote me to say they were jealous. While I don’t like anyone feeling jealous of anything I’m doing, in this case, I could certainly understand. I felt utterly treated and pampered to the best of what LA has to offer, and all right down the street from me, on my favorite street!

We started out by checking into our rooms at The Orlando Hotel on West 3rd Street.

Welcome to The Orlando!

Welcome to The Orlando!

When I found out I would be staying in their Entertainers Suite – complete with an extra room for entertaining, and a large balcony, overlooking West 3rd Street, I knew I had found my home for the next two days.

 

The balcony of The Entertainer suite at The Orlando

The balcony of The Entertainer suite at The Orlando

I was in heaven.

Heaven, overlooking West 3rd Street

Heaven, overlooking West 3rd Street. (Editor’s note: While this looks relaxing, every single girl on that balcony was SO nervous I would fall)

But, as gorgeous as the room was, I couldn’t rest on my laurels, or on the luxurious linens, in this case.

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No, we had a jam-packed agenda ahead of us, and we had places to go and people to see!

Bloggers on the loose!

Bloggers on the loose!

First up on our day of pampering?

Bedhead Pajamas, where they had champ and super comfy pjs, waiting for us.

Always the hostess with the mostest…yep, even when it's not my party. It's what I do.

Always the hostess with the mostest…yep, even when it’s not my party. It’s what I do.

We all loved the pajama party-meets-British-boho bedroom vibe of the store, so of course, we snapped a pic or two.

On the bed at, um, Bedhead

No, we don’t normally snuggle on the bed at events. On the bed at, um, Bedhead.

We shared one more toast outside in the beautiful Bedhead courtyard, but there was no time to waste.

photo copy 6

Next, we were off to Murad to have relaxing hand massages, and face mapping to tell us how our skin was looking!

Relaxxxxxed at Murad

I was thrilled that my skin only read a low “13” on the damage scale, so with proper skincare, my skin is aging right on time.

Fear not. It's just my face being mapped for sun damage, and (gasp!), signs of aging. Not too shabby.

Fear not. It’s just my face being mapped for sun damage, and (gasp!), signs of aging. Not too shabby.

We then headed right next door to get gorgeous blowouts at one of my favorite salons, Spoke And Weal.

Hair done? Check.

Hair done? Check.

Then, we headed back to The Orlando for dinner at The Churchill.

The food and handcrafted cocktails were delicious! And we actually got to taste EVERYTHING on this menu, as it was served family style.

Delicious possibilities at The Churchill

Delicious possibilities at The Churchill

 

But, my favorite part  was when I asked everyone to go around the table, and say what they admire about each of our dinner dates. I love doing this with my girlfriends – new and old – as everyone leaves the table, feeling uplifted. I wish all women would do this!

Happy & hungry girls.

Happy & hungry girls.

 

After dinner, we headed upstairs and changed into our Bedhead pjs, where Rachael and I were so excited about my bathtub, that we hopped right in! You know. Totally normal.

Can't have a proper me cation without bathtime!

And then, inspired by our pretty pjs, we opted for a pillow fight photo session.

Pillow fight!

Pillow fight!

As a bedtime treat, the sweet folks at Sweet E’s had left us some sweet nothings on our bedside tables. Sweet dreams, indeed.

Look at the custom BeautyFrosting cupcake and Orlando cookie! Swoon.

Look at the custom BeautyFrosting cupcake and Orlando cookie! Swoon.

Next? SLEEP. Contrary to what I’ve always thought, pampering can be exhausting.

The next morning, I kicked off the day with a little me-time meditation on my balcony.

Head in the clouds, heart in the right place

Head in the clouds, heart in the right place

Then, it was Clover Juice morning happy hour with my fellow editors and bloggers.

These robes were just as comfy as they look.

These robes were just as comfy as they look.

Followed by pool time, naturally.

Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday: Sun bathing at its best in the middle of the city

It was one of my all-time favorite weekends. But it’s not just for me! If you’re feeling a little rundown – or just in need of a break – head to West 3rd Street, and stay at The Orlando for your own little mecation. All of this pampering is merely steps away. And trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

 

xoxo,
Dawn

Editor’s Note: As per all my McCoy’s MeCations, this post was sponsored by the participating host hotel – in this case, The Orlando Hotel (8384 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90048). All accommodations, services, fare and beverages were provided by the host hotel, and their associates.

Bathing In The Possibilities of 2015

This New Year’s, I’m feeling utterly bubbly as I reflect, wash away what doesn’t serve me, bathe in the possibilities of 2015, and toast to the beautiful mysteries that 2015 holds.

Bathing in the possibilities of 2015

Feeling so grateful for so many dreams coming true in 2014.

So do I want more to come true this year?

As@AmyPoehlerSmartGirls says…YES PLEASE!

*This photo was taken in the Double Courtyard Cottage at The Oaks Spa in Ojai, California. (Full McCoy’s MeCation up next week)

xoxo,
BF

 

BF Asks: How are you celebrating this first day of 2015? 

McCoy’s MeCations: Satori Tea Company in San Jose – A Whimsical, Tantalizing Tea Room

I love surprises. The good kind. The sweet kind.
I ran into one of these such sweet surprises when I discovered Satori Tea Company on a lark on my McCoy’s MeCation in San Jose this past weekend.

Satori Tea Company in downtown San Jose

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up going to afternoon tea with my mom on a regular basis. It was our thing. It was our chance to catch up with one another after school, eat some delicious food and share with her all of my hopes and dreams (with a little gossip mixed in here and there) – all while sipping our cups of tea. My senior year of high school, we went daily whenever we could, because we knew we wouldn’t have that opportunity the following year. So afternoon tea, or high tea, has always held a special place in my heart.

The Royal Tea at Satori Tea Company in San Jose

Finding a good tearoom that measures up to those I remember from my youth, like the long-gone Lady Primrose in Dallas, is no easy quest. Until now. On a lark, I decided to take my Step Up Women’s Network alum mentee, Rosy, to tea, while in San Jose for Oprah’s The Life You Want weekend. We had gone to tea together once before in Beverly Hills, and it was now becoming our tradition, much like it had been for my mom and I.

A royal high tea with Rosy at Satori Tea Company

I walked around downtown San Jose and stumbled upon Satori Tea Company. This place hits all the points I deem crucial when it comes to an exemplary afternoon tea. And, it’s no surprise as owner, Victoria, partook in tea classes as a child and then found herself later studying the art of tea while studying abroad in England as a college student.

  • There is a wide and interesting selection of teas – a wall of them, actually, that you can sample-sniff.

    The wall of tea at Satori Tea Company

  •  They offer a wide and tasty selection of flavorful, authentic, homemade tea sandwiches.
  •  They serve true clotted cream (as well as lemon curd and jam) with their scones

    Clotted cream, lemon curd and jam - topped with pomegranate seeds and berries - for the homemade scones at Satori Tea Company

  •  They add their own twists on the classic tea, like these crumpets topped with their homemade yum – I mean – rum butter.

    Homemade Crumpets topped with their homemade yum butter - er, I mean - RUM BUTTER.

Housed in an unassuming space, its front door faces a parking lot. Nothing magical on the storefront…but then you go inside. Magic. Pure magic.

Poms cascading from the ceiling at Satori Tea Company

Poms hang from the ceiling, beautiful antique furniture abounds (SO beautiful that I kept trying to buy it), and servers are dressed in beautiful, feminine frocks. I felt transported to a Mad Hatter tea party in the middle of downtown San Jose. Not bad for a Friday!

I. Want. These. Chairs. For my office, please?

I recommend ordering the Royal Tea ($45) which includes 3 finger sandwich selections (2 each) on a bed of delicate green salad, warm heritage cream scone served with fresh fruit, clotted cream, lemon curd, & preserves, an assortment of petite tea fancies, twice toasted crumpet topped with sweet rum butter, plentiful pot of tea, and a flute of their signature tea-infused champagne cocktail.
Enjoy the complex flavors of their wide selection of tea sandwiches, their toasted crumpets with homemade rum butter, scones with clotted cream, jam and lemon curd, and petite pastries that are sure to please.

Oh, the deliciousness! Shown here: Cucumber Cream Cheese sandwiches and pastries

As for the sandwiches, these are their delicious offerings:
  • English cucumber & cream cheese
  • Egg salad with green onion & dill
  • Pear, gorgonzola cream, & arugula
  • Apple, cranberry, almond chicken salad
  • Herbed turkey, pesto, & pepper jack
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers
  • Ham, English cheddar, & fig butter
  • Peanut butter & jelly with sprinkles

I am still dreaming of those oh-so-tasty tea sandwiches (8 varieties, including ) and the Breakfast Club pink tea, which is the comforting taste of cinnamon toast meets bread pudding meets morning porridge. Yes, really. I actually left with a tin of this, I was such a fan!

And, my purchase didn’t stop there! They have a beautiful selection of antique teacups, tea sets and teapots, so I also picked up some delicious Christmas gifts for friends and family.

Best of all, it reminds me of the sweet and tasty tearooms of my youth. Satori Tea Company is a warm, inviting, delicious, whimsical little world that invites you to share tea, swap stories and make memories – like the ones my mom and I have – that will last a lifetime.

If you’re in the Bay Area, I can’t recommend highly enough that you schedule a visit to this tantalizing tea room. You will thank me for the recommendation.

**Stay tuned for some delicious recipes from Victoria of Satori Tea Company, coming soon here on BeautyFrosting!

xoxo,
BF

BF Asks: What’s your favorite tearoom? 

 

 

McCoy’s MeCations: The Ways of San Jose

When I was invited to attend Oprah’s The Life You Want weekend in San Jose this past weekend, I decided to make a McCoy’s MeCation out of it, because well, that’s what I do.

On my way to Oprah, my most exciting McCoy's MeCation yet!

I’ve never been to San Jose before and I was so excited to navigate this bay area city on my own and, um, on Oprah’s terms.

It started with my check-in at The Fairmont San Jose. When Oprah’s having a party and your hotel is the most luxurious in town, they’re gonna be a little – shall we say – busy. Everyone was staying there – including, I was told, Oprah herself. Even though The Fairmont had over 850 guests check in this weekend on the last stop of the Oprah’s The Life You Want weekend, The Fairmont staff still managed to make me feel like a star during my stay.

I left The Fairmont feeling relaxed, recharged and inspired. What more could a girl ask for from a mecation?

From the personal recommendations on where to dine, to the turndown service, and Republic of Tea surprise nightcap, I truly felt pampered for my inspiring, Oprah-fueled San Jose mecation weekend.

A comfy robe and an unexpected Republic of Tea nightcap, served with simple syrup

The Executive King Suite in the main building

I started with a relaxing in-room light lunch to get my belly filled, my mind cleared and my body relaxed for what was up next on the mecation agenda. *Travel note: I always try to order the same first room service meal at every hotel I stay in: caesar salad and french onion soup. By using this as my common thread, I know what level of cuisine I’m in for once I taste it. This one indicated excellent food to come!

A happy girl right there. All it took was a bowl of french onion soup, caesar salad and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon

Next, I headed down to the lobby to Tova Day Spa, where I was surprised by a most relaxing massage with Flurya and the best facial of my life (no exaggeration here) with owner, Tova. Tova is just a ray of light who takes great pride in her spa. And, I really appreciated the fact that she was so gentle with me since it was my first time getting a microdermabrasion facial.

Facial time with Tova. My first time having gentle microdermabrasion and truly the best facial of my life

In the sauna at Tova Day Spa, before returning to my Oprah weekend

Afterwards, my skin felt softer than it had in years – like that proverbial baby’s bottom we all crave – and my skin glowed and looked lit within.

My skin was the softest it had been in years! Still is, thanks to Tova

Walking through the city (which I love to do), I stumbled upon my hidden gem in San Jose…Satori Tea Company. This place might just be my new favorite tea house. If you’re in San Jose, do yourself a favor and head to this little treasure chest of a tea house that sits in an alley facing a parking lot. Unexpected surprises in the most unexpected of places, yet again! Isn’t that what travel is all about? *Stay tuned for more details about that experience!

My most favorite high tea experience in over a decade

For my last dinner, I indulged in the deliciousness at The Grill on The Alley, a traditional steakhouse, which was a comforting trip to the past in my weekend of new discoveries. *More on that later, too.

When it comes to dinner in San Jose? Stick to The Grill on the Alley - the best in town, and better yet, in the lobby of your hotel when you stay at The Fairmont

Overall, The Fairmont San Jose made for the best home away from home, married with a touch of an escape for a weekend that was all about bettering myself.

Relaxed, recharged, reinvigorated - and ready to take on the world! Thank you, San Jose.

I rested in their super luxurious beds with buttery soft sheets, I beautified and relaxed in their spa and I dined – oh, how I dined – at their restaurants. And the best part? I got to enjoy some of the best of what San Jose had to offer all in one beautiful building.

My San Jose MeCation Travel Takeaway?

  • 1) Fly into the San Jose International Airport.
  • 2) Splurge a bit and stay at The Fairmont.
  • 3) Order room service at least once.
  • 4) Enjoy The Fairmont breakfast buffet at The Fountain – only $25 – it is SO worth it.
  • 5) Pamper yourself with the best facial of your life at Tova Day Spa.
  • 6) Head over to Satori Tea Company for one of the best high teas you’ll ever have (and be sure to leave with a tin or two of tea and one of their vintage antique tea sets)
  • 7) Spend at least 30 minutes walking around the city (and any city you’re traveling in) so you can get a true feel of the beat of that city.

 


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